That’s no exaggeration when you consider that fact that half of all those who smoke will eventually be killed by their habit.
Despite knowing more about the devastating effects of smoking than ever before, around 30 million people still take up the habit every year.
In the last century, 100 million people were killed by smoking. In the next, the death toll is expected to be around one billion if current trends continue.
These were the figures discussed this weekend in the Swiss resort of Lugano, where 100 leading cancer experts gathered to issue a stark warning to governments across the world.
Governments need to act now to control the global tobacco industry by tightening restrictions on sales and marketing.
Experts believe the tobacco industry should be treated as a terrorist movement for targeting consumers with a product they know to be lethal and highly addictive.
John Seffrin, chief executive of the American Cancer Society said: “There is purposeful intent to market a product that they know full well will harm their customers and over time will kill more than half of them. The industry needs to be reined in and regulated.”
Despite evidence showing that smoking is more harmful than previously thought, the number of people who take up smoking every year is greater than the number of people who give up.
Smoking causes around 22% of all cancer deaths and is thought to kill 1.7 million people a year.
If you would like help giving up smoking, please visit our Smoking page. Here you will find out how counselling techniques could make giving up easier. One step at a time, it can be done.
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